Viewers tuning in for the mid-season premiere of Fear The Walking Dead last night were treated to a special look at The Walking Dead Season 8 ahead of its October 22th premiere. Hosted by Chris Hardwick (the hardest working man in the TV series post-episode talk show business), AMC's The Walking Dead Season 8 Preview Special featured a number of guests (including actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan and showrunner Scott M. Gimple) discussing what it was like transitioning the show from the buildup to an all-out war to actually filming the war against Negan (Morgan) and The Saviors.
As for what fans can expect from the the upcoming season, Gimple was able to throw out a few interesting tidbits:
● It doesn't look like Rick (Andrew Lincoln) or Daryl (Norman Reedus) will be planning a baby shower for Maggie (Lauren Cohan) anytime soon: "Maggie's baby will not be born in Season 8, but anything's possible."
What can we read into that? Right from the start, what this tells us is that the action and pace during Season 8 will be fast. If Maggie doesn't give birth during this season (barring a tragedy that would probably bring holy hellfire down on the heads of everyone who writes for the show), then that means the timeline of the 16 episodes will only be a matter of months at most.
In the comic book, Maggie gives birth during the time jump that takes place after the "All-Out War" storyline. If you factor in "Old Man Rick" from the trailer, it would seem that the show might be going the Lost/flash-forward route (or possibly a Better Call Saul style, where we get five minutes at the beginning of the first episode and nothing again until much later) to match its comic book counterpart.
● Gimple wants you to know that you're dreaming if you're dreaming that Rick's dreaming.
Some fans were speculating online that the scene in the trailer when Rick wakes up in his bed with a full, grey beard means that Rick never actually woke up from his coma in the series' first episode, and that this is him now finally waking up. Of course, that would mean that everything we've seen up to this point are all part of Rick's coma dream — a theory that Gimple didn't waste a second dismissing when Hardwick broached the subject, steering fans more towards the time-jump theory.
● Once the premiere airs, AMC is making sure you have some friends to share the experience with…
The Walking Dead Season 8 premiere (marking the series' 100th episode milestone) will be followed by a special two-hour Talking Dead with Hardwick and a number of cast/crew members.
● Gimple brought an extended look at Season 8's 100th episode showing our heroes in a rare moment of peace in the midst of an all-out war.
The scene shows some great interaction between Rick, Maggie, King Ezekiel (Khary Payton), and Jesus (Tom Payne) as they discuss moving the fight forward and The Hilltop losing their doctor before Ezekiel's inspiring speech. We then see Tara (Alanna Masterson), Carol (Melissa McBride), Morgan (Lennie James), and Daryl on a highway, ready to put some kind of plan into action. At first, things seem quiet — a little too quiet — until they see a wave of walkers approaching, signaling for them to put their plan into action.
But my favorite part of the scene, though? The father/daughter moment of mutual respect between Rick and Maggie:
Rick: "The Hilltop's lucky to have you."
Maggie: "You showed me how to be someone worth following."
Rick: "Good. After this, I'm following you."